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Date:   08 October, 2011  

Focus:
 Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, turtles & rabbits
Ear itchiness due to ear tumour?
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
08 October, 2011
toapayohvets.com 
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0129
 
"Remember? She was 19kg when you amputated her leg?" the slim writer in black frame glasses asked me. "Now she is 31 g. I had fed her well."

dwarf hamster, 2 years, small leg pimple to huge bony tumour in 4 weeks, amputation,toapayohvets"How can I ever forget her?" I was impressed with the high quality care given as I thought this hamster would never live after such a drastic surgery. Being amputated at the knee and being such a tiny creature. And the delay in seeking surgery due to Vet 1's advice. The suspected bone cancer had not spread since the leg was cut away. See  My 3 dwarf hamsters
That is why she is alive now. 31 g from 19 g. What an achievement.

"There are some dwarf hamsters that stand out." The other vet had delayed her operation and the tumour exploded in size to a 10-cent disc coin mass stuck to the knee and nearby areas.

Furthermore her sibling had this smelly ear and had died, at the weight of 19g, after 4 operations.

"This sibling had no ear problem at all," the lady said. "She has been scratching her left ear."

"Was she housed together with the sibling?"
"No, she lives alone all the while," she said.
"How come she got her ear infected?" I asked. She shook her head. The hamster squeaked loudly when touched.
dwarf hamster, 2 years, small leg pimple to huge bony tumour in 4 weeks, amputation,toapayohvets"There is only one common connection between the two siblings," I said. "And that is you, the owner".
The writer smiled. Themes are relevant to a writer and there is a theme in "ear infections and hamster owner".
"She is hard to handle," the lady said when I suggested some ear drops.

I put the hamster under isoflurane gas and showed 1 polytechnic student who turned up by himself how the hamster's ear is irrigated. It is not possible to irrigate her ear without anaesthesia and forcing that by kill her due to fright and fight back.

The next day, the hamster was not scratching her left ear. But she started scratching her right ear. I phoned the owner to take her home and observe. "If it is ear tumour," I assumed due to the age, the non-use of hamster sand bath, the fact that the sibling had died from ear infection and cyst and probably tumour, "I may need to remove the ear canal early. Wait for 2 weeks, take the medication and irrigate the ear and see what happens."

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Be kind to dwarf hamsters. Don't wait till tumour becomes large to ask your vet to excise it. Toa Payoh VetsHamster anaesthesia at Toa Payoh Vets

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toapayohvets.com 
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0129
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Clinical Research
 

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All rights reserved. Revised: October 08, 2011

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